Petroleum & Petroleum Products Wholesalers Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 3/27/2017
SIC Codes: 5171, 5172
NAICS Codes: 4247
Chapters Include:
Industry Overview Trends & Challenges Industry Forecast
Quarterly Industry Update Call Prep Questions Website & Media Links
Business Challenges Financial Information Glossary & Acronyms
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Excerpt from Petroleum & Petroleum Products Wholesalers Industry Profile

Companies in this industry store, transport, and distribute wholesale petroleum and petroleum products; some wholesalers also operate bulk storage facilities. Major US companies include Global Partners, Mansfield Oil, Statoil Marketing & Trading (owned by Norway's Statoil), Sunoco (owned by Energy Transfer Partners), and World Fuel Services.

The US petroleum wholesale distribution industry includes about 6,700 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with annual revenue of about $1.5 trillion. Variations in the prices of crude oil and refined products can cause revenue for distributors to fluctuate significantly.


Demand for petroleum comes mainly from auto and truck use and home heating. Profitability is determined by the efficiency of operations. Most companies are local and operate a single "bulk station" (tank farm), although the large companies may operate a dozen facilities and serve several states. Large wholesale purchasers generally can negotiate bigger price discounts from suppliers and spread the cost of bulk holding facilities over a larger number of gallons. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate more than 70% of revenue.


Products include gasoline (more than 40% of industry revenue), diesel fuel and heating oil (about 20%), crude oil, and propane, jet fuel, kerosene, and lubricants. Diesel fuel and heating oil are collectively called "no. 2 distillates."

Operations include storing, transporting, and distributing refined petroleum products. About 60% of wholesale distributors operate "bulk plants" (tank farms) from which they ...

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